Kristie Higgs was dismissed after sharing two Facebook posts raising concerns about relationships and sex education and transgender ideology in schools.(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

Government plans to ban extreme sex education and gender identity lessons from primary schools have been welcomed by Christians who have spent years fighting for change.

The government announced this week that new guidance will introduce age limits “to ensure children aren’t being taught about sensitive and complex subjects before they are ready to fully understand them”. It said that the concept of gender identity was “highly contested and should not be taught”. Parents also have a “legal right” to know what their children are being taught in relationships and sex education lessons, and can request to see teaching materials.

“This is in line with the cautious approach taken in our guidance on gender questioning children,” the government said.

“Along with other factors, teaching this theory in the classroom could prompt some children to start to question their gender when they may not have done so otherwise, and is a complex theory for children to understand.” 

Christian Concern has welcomed the development and said it “vindicates” a number of its clients who have spent years campaigning for change or fighting for their jobs in the courts after speaking out.

One client, Kristie Higgs, is still fighting for justice five years after losing her job over posts on her Facebook page in which she expressed concern about transgender ideology in schools and the content of relationships and sex education lessons. A Court of Appeal hearing is scheduled for October. 

In another case, Rev Dr Bernard Randall was sacked and reported to the government’s terrorist watchdog, Prevent, after saying in a sermon in a Church of England school chapel that pupils did not have to agree with LGBT ideology. He was also branded a ‘safeguarding risk’ by the local Church of England diocese for the concerns he raised.

In 2017, Christian parents Nigel and Sally Rowe were allegedly branded transphobic after challenging the trans-affirming policy of their sons’ Church of England primary school. They challenged the Department for Education’s refusal to intervene and were granted a judicial review but the government settled and awarded them £22,000 in legal costs. 

Christian Concern CEO Andrea Williams said the change to RSHE guidance “vindicates courageous Christian parents who were faithful to their beliefs and ahead of the curve” but said the “silence” from the Church of England in the last few years had been “devastating”. 

“We are glad and relieved that primary school children will now be protected from such lessons. But this must only be a beginning,” she said.

“So much harm has been done and so much confusion sown. Schools must return to their Christian roots and the Biblical beliefs on identity and sexual ethics which set children and stable families up for life.

“It might not be popular or fashionable, but only God’s good plan for human identity, marriage and relationships will ever be enough for children to grow up and lead fulfilling, stable and happy lives.

“The past seven years have clearly demonstrated that when we turn from God’s plan, it leads to endless chaos.”

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